Ajisen China Holdings, which runs casual restaurants in China and Hong Kong, had a drop in turnover of about 6.5 per cent last year, according to its audited consolidated annual results.
Based in Hong Kong, its main business is the Ajisen Ramen chain of Japanese fast-food restaurants, but it also manufactures packaged noodle products under the Ajisen brand.
The group’s turnover dipped to about RMB2.38 billion (US$345.2 million) from about RMB2.5 billion in 2015. The decrease is attributed mainly to stores being closed during the year and VAT reform in Mainland China.
Gross profit for the year eased by 3.3 per cent to about RMB1.7 billion, while gross profit margin increased from 69.6 per cent in 2015 to about 72 per cent.
During the year, Ajisen China’s restaurant business income was about RMB2.2 billion (2015: RMB2.4 billion), about 93.3 per cent of total revenue.
As at December 31, the portfolio comprised 650 Ajisen restaurants, down 23 from the previous year. There were 649 stores in China, down from 672, and 35 in Hong Kong, down three. Taiwan’s one restaurant, in which the group had a 15 per cent interest, closed.
Meanwhile, a restaurant was opened in Rome.
As well as being supplied to the group’s restaurants, Ajisen noodle products are sold through diversified channels, including supermarkets and department stores. During the year, the revenue from the sales of packaged noodles and related products was about RMB159.8 million (2015: RMB114 million), accounting for 6.7 per cent (2015: 4.5 per cent) of total revenue.
In China, the group had about 8000 points of sale at the end of the year, no change from 2015. The distribution network covers more than 30 cities in China, distributors including nationwide retailers such as Carrefour, Metro and Wal-Mart, and regional retailers such as Century Lianhua, China Resources Vanguard and Sanjiang in Ningbo, as well as convenience chain stores like Alldays, C-Store and Kedi.